After an auto accident in Riverside, CA, an attorney can review the case, determine liability, and discuss the next steps to take. But in the immediate aftermath of the crash, there are some steps you need to take right away-well before you contact a personal injury attorney . It’s equally as important to avoid making certain mistakes that can jeopardize the efforts of your accident lawyer to obtain just compensation on your behalf.
Avoid Driving Away
Driving away from the scene of an accident could result in criminal charges. Even if it appears that no one is injured and that the property damage is minimal, it’s always essential to pull over.
Avoid Making Verbal Agreements
If the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance, he or she might try to convince you not to call the police, file an accident report, and notify a personal injury attorney. But it’s never a good idea to make a verbal agreement to settle the matter between the two of you. Quite simply, there’s no guarantee that the other driver will uphold his or her end of the bargain. Plus, you might later accrue unexpected expenses stemming from the crash. Always call the police and file an accident report.
Avoid Neglecting to Obtain Important Information
You might already know that you need to exchange insurance information with the other driver. But did you know that you should also write down his or her driver’s license number, make and model of the car, license plate, and the names and contact information of any witnesses? Use your cellphone to take plenty of photos of the crash site, including any skid marks and traffic signs, and to document the damage on the vehicles and your injuries.
Avoid Discussing the Crash
When you’re exchanging information with the other driver, it’s essential to avoid discussing the crash with him or her. Save your account of what happened for the police officer. If the other driver insists on discussing the accident or becomes belligerent, you can refer him or her to your auto accident attorney.
Avoid Waiting to See a Doctor
When the police authorize you to leave the scene, you should go to a hospital right away, even if you think you are not seriously injured. Waiting to see a doctor might later enable the insurance carrier to claim that you couldn’t have been badly injured.